One of the oldest tournaments in history, the Rogers Cup - or Canadian Open - brings together the best ATP and WTA players for the chance to win coveted ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 titles in 2021
Rogers Cup 2021 predictions
Every year the Rogers Cup is held in the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto, with the ATP and WTA alternating between the two each season.
In 2020, the Rogers Cup was cancelled for the first time since the Second World War, along with Wimbledon, the Madrid Open and some of the other biggest events of the ATP and WTA Tour season.
The tournament returns in 2021, with the men playing in Toronto from 7-15 August and the women playing in Montreal from 8-15 August. The 2019 champions Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu lead the respective fields.
Not since Ivan Lendl in 1987-9 has a male player won three consecutive editions of the Rogers Cup, which is also known as the Canada Masters – can Nadal do just that in 2021 after triumphing over younger challengers Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev in the 2018-19 finals? Four-time champion Novak Djokovic will also be trying to end a four-year drought at the Canada Masters, with 2017 winner Alexander Zverev among the contenders trying to unsettle the established champions.
In Montreal, Andreescu is sure of a rapturous reception after becoming the first Canadian player, male or female, to win the Rogers Cup since Faye Urban in 1969 when she beat Serena Williams in an aborted final. Andreescu did not play at all in 2020 due to injury and the global pandemic – will she be better than ever in 2021? Or can former champions Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic prevent her from successfully defending her title?
ATP Toronto Masters 2021: Men’s Tips
The ATP Tour did not get to compete in Toronto in 2020, so the 2021 Canada Masters sees them returning to the city for the first time since 2018 when Nadal won his fourth title.
The Spaniard successfully defended that title in 2019, defeating Medvedev in a final which prefigured the US Open title match that year and improving to 38-8 at the Canada Masters. Nadal will be on a nine-match winning streak when he returns to Toronto in 2021 and will unquestionably be formidable – but he is also 34 years old, and he may not be fit to play.
Furthermore, although Nadal successfully fended off Tsitsipas and Medvedev in the 2018-19 finals in Toronto and Montreal respectively, both continue to develop as real threats especially at Masters 1000 Series level, so that’s another factor that has to be taken into account. There’s also the fact that the addition of the Tokyo Olympics to the schedule in 2021 puts real pressure on all the players to schedule smartly.
Novak Djokovic has only played the Canada Masters once since winning his fourth title in 2016, and that ended in a round-of-16 defeat to Tsitsipas in 2018. He has picked up two Cincinnati Masters titles in that time span, so it suggests that the turnaround between Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup is really becoming too tight for Djokovic – and this problem will only be exacerbated in 2021 with the Olympics.
The Rogers Cup is also likely to become a casualty, where scheduling is concerned, for Roger Federer – he has only played the tournament twice in the past eight years, and probably won’t in 2021, with his eyes on Tokyo.
Medvedev is now a three-time Masters 1000 Series champion and has proved that he can beat both Nadal and Djokovic on hard courts; the 2019 US Open finalist should be a real contender at the Canada Masters in 2021. The surface is perhaps not quite as markedly strong for Tsitsipas, but the Greek has reached the final in Toronto before, while Zverev is also a three-time Masters 1000 Series champion at this point, including at the Rogers Cup. All three men should be among the favourites to win the title in 2021.
Lastly, we cannot forget Canadian natives Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic. The 29-year-old Raonic made the final of the Canada Masters all the way back in 2013, and injury has played a big role in the fact that he has not managed to make it past the quarterfinals since, but he is always a threat to make a deep run at a Masters 1000 Series event. Shapovalov (21) has made four Masters 1000 Series semifinals, including one at the Canada Masters, and one final (in Paris); he’s had early exits at the Rogers Cup for the past couple of years, but had a very decent 2020 season which included reaching the US Open quarterfinals. Auger-Aliassime (20) also made the US Open quarterfinals and made three ATP Tour finals in 2020, and is an excellent candidate for a deep run in Toronto in 2021.
WTA Rogers Cup 2021: Women’s Tips
No player has defended the Rogers Cup title since Martina Hingis in 1999-2000 – can Canada’s own Bianca Andreescu snap that trend two decades later?
Montreal welcomes the WTA Tour’s top stars back in 2021, and Bianca Andreescu will be the star attraction.
Andreescu did not play at all in 2020, initially because of injury and then because of the disruption to the schedule, opting to return fully fit and prepared in 2021 (which she will hopefully be able to do). But even in the Canadian’s short career so far, we’ve seen that she doesn’t need a lot of matches to be able to play her best – when she won the Rogers Cup in 2019, after all, Andreescu had only played one match since March due to injury. And although her performances could be uneven, she consistently came up with the tennis she needed to beat Kiki Bertens, Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin before Serena Williams retired in the final.
Assuming the injury-prone Andreescu is fit, she should therefore be among the favourites to win the Rogers Cup in 2021 – and she will certainly have the support of the crowd.
With the Tokyo Olympics in the mix, Serena Williams – despite having reached the final in 2019 – probably won’t be winning her fourth Rogers Cup title; Petra Kvitova won her only Rogers Cup title in an Olympic year, but is highly unlikely to repeat the feat in 2021. Naomi Osaka, who is one of the key faces of the Olympics, probably also shouldn’t be expected to go deep in Montreal despite it being a tournament which should really suit her in the future.
Simona Halep is a different story: She has been in the final of three of the past five editions of the Rogers Cup, and has won the title the last two times it has been held in Montreal; in fact, she is on a ten-match winning streak in Montreal. While Halep’s Rogers Cup journey in 2019 ended in the quarterfinals when she retired against Marie Bouzkova, she had the fairly significant mitigating circumstance of having just won Wimbledon, and she has a proven history of strong performances at this tournament.
Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic are both former Rogers Cup champions who perform well at that event – Svitolina hasn’t failed to reach the quarterfinals or better on her last three appearances, and has a 12-4 record at the Rogers Cup; Bencic’s title run in 2015 was extraordinary, and although she hasn’t managed to make it back to the quarterfinals since (she’s only played the tournament once since winning it), she is superb on American hard courts. The Swiss is temperamental, but dazzling on her day.
Americans Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens have both reached the final of the Rogers Cup in the past, but their chances in 2021 might be eclipsed by those of their compatriot Sofia Kenin. Kenin was able to make the semifinals of the Rogers Cup on her main-draw debut at the tournament in 2019, beating Svitolina and Ashleigh Barty on her way; she’s a fantastic hard-court player, a tremendous competitor and returns to the Rogers Cup in 2021 as a Grand Slam champion, having won the Australian Open and made the final of the French Open in 2020. Look out for Kenin at the Rogers Cup in 2021, she will be hard to beat.
Rogers Cup 2021 tournament information
Name: Rogers Cup
Location: Toronto (ATP), Montreal (WTA)
Venue: Aviva Centre (Toronto), IGA Stadium (Montreal)
Category: Masters 1000 (ATP), Premier-5 (WTA)
Surface: Outdoor Hard
Draw size: 56 singles
Men – Ivan Lendl (6)
Women – Chris Evert, Monica Seles (4)
Men’s singles – Rafael Nadal
Women’s singles – Bianca Andreescu
Rogers Cup player performance
Who are the best-performing male players at the Rogers Cup?
|Rafael Nadal||5 (2005, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2019)||0||Champion||38-8|
|Novak Djokovic||4 (2007, 2010, 2011, 2016)||1 (2015)||Didn’t play||37-7|
|Andy Murray||3 (2009, 2019, 2015)||0||Didn’t play||26-6|
|Roger Federer||2 (2004, 2006)||4 (2007, 2010, 2014, 2017)||Didn’t play||35-10|
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||1 (2014)||0||R1||16-6|
|Alexander Zverev||1 (2017)||0||QF||9-3|
|Stefanos Tsitsipas||0||1 (2018)||R2||5-2|
|Daniil Medvedev||0||1 (2019)||Runner-up||6-3|
Who are the best performing female players at the Rogers Cup?
|Serena Williams||3 (2001, 2011, 2013)||2 (2000, 2019)||Runner-up||34-6|
|Simona Halep||2 (2016, 2018)||1 (2015)||QF||21-5|
|Petra Kvitova||1 (2012)||0||Didn’t play||14-9|
|Belinda Bencic||1 (2015)||0||R3||8-1|
|Elina Svitolina||1 (2017)||0||QF||12-4|
|Bianca Andreescu||1 (2019)||0||Champion||6-1|
|Sloane Stephens||0||1 (2018)||R2||11-7|
|Madison Keys||0||1 (2016)||R1||6-3|